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The Black awarding gaps and decolonisation at Cambridge: An open forum about the data, student experiences, and ways forward


Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities, yet Black British students are statistically less likely to be awarded a First or Good Honours degree at Cambridge compared to their white peers. This disparity is known as the awarding gap. Institutional statistical analysis of admission data has shown that this disparity cannot be explained by factors such as previous education, socio-economic background or other intersecting variables including gender. The University has made a commitment to eliminate these inequitable degree outcomes and the last four years has seen considerable investment in research into the reasons for these troubling statistics.

This one-day forum is open to all Cambridge staff and students as an opportunity to explore, learn, and contribute towards a shared understanding about the impact of awarding gaps on Black undergraduate students. It is also a chance to reflect and critically engage on strategies and practices to address inequitable educational experiences at Cambridge, including the range of decolonisation initiatives already underway across the university. We welcome your views, ideas, and questions to help the University move forward in a mutually beneficial way.

The programme is being co-coordinated and co-designed by a team of student and staff researchers involved in the Access and Participation Plan’s Participatory Action Research (the APP PAR Project). The forum is supported by the Black Advisory Hub, the BME Campaign, and the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Target audience

Cambridge staff and students are all welcome


When booking please kindly provide details on any access and dietary requirements in the special requirements section of the booking form


The programme has been designed to give participants opportunities to learn, contribute and share experiences and practices.

Forum agenda can be found here:

Topics to be discussed might include, for instance:

  • quantitative and qualitative data about Black awarding gaps at Cambridge
  • decolonization of teaching, learning and assessment
  • racially inclusive teaching practices
  • unconscious bias in assessment and marking
  • discipline-specific approaches to representation in the curriculum (STEM. SS and Arts/Humanities)
  • intersections of race and mental health
  • supporting racially minoritised students transition in and through Cambridge

Please contact the project team if you have any questions about the event at:


The forum will involve presentations, panels, roundtables and workshops, and we also welcome more creative proposals.


Full day



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